By Rachael Ann Mare, Guest BloggerNovember 14, 2015
image via lettershoppe.com
Have you been selling yourself short?
It’s easy to think, when you’re young and still learning, or when you haven’t achieved that one essential “success” milestone, that you have nothing to offer.
I worked for many years alone at writing fiction, thinking that because I hadn’t published a book, it meant I wasn’t “there” yet. That it meant that I had to keep working and improving until I published that book, and then I could have a career. Then I could share and teach and talk about what I was doing.
Recently I’ve begun to realize how silly that is.
A 16-year-old I chatted with in a Facebook group expressed reluctance to start a Facebook page for her photography because she didn’t feel she had enough experience or enough of a body of work to turn it into a business.
Who cares?!? I said. Don’t be silly! Post away!
Sharing now is what will enable you to sell later. It is what will allow you to connect and to learn, both of which will be invaluable when you are ready, for whatever it is you’re aiming at. I wish I had known this at 16.
Look at what you have done.
I haven’t published a novel.
I have written four. I’ve written 18 short stories and one novella. I’ve written magazine articles and a nonfiction e-book. I write a blog that moves people—that helps people. I’ve increased my word counts 200% in the last two years. I have supporters who’ve been asking me for years when and where they can read my stuff. Years!
This is experience, and I’ve learned a ton from it. Somewhere in there, there’s a lot I can offer.
What kind of experience do you have? What are you already good at? What do your friends look to you for?
Document your learning.
Your learning process is valuable. Other people have not learned the things you’re learning and will want to.
Write about it. Make videos about it. Make a podcast about it. Offer it up in the world.
(P.S. Doing stuff like this helps you stay motivated, because you’re putting yourself out there (adrenaline rush) and connecting (getting feedback), both of which are important parts of seeing yourself make progress.)
If you are making something and are excited about what you’re doing, other people will be, too, and that will help keep you excited and working, and who knows what kind of opportunities will come your way as a result?
Don’t be afraid to start small.
I have a bad habit of trying to include everything I know about everything into everything. Seriously, you don’t want to do that.
Small is good. People can understand small. They can take in small, in a short amount of time, and get to know you, and see if they like what you do and want more.
People respond more to useful content that solves their problems and a fun personality that they can relate to than they do to fancy design. If you’ve watched author John Green and his brother Hank’s early videos on YouTube, you know what I’m talking about.
Don’t let technical fears hold you back. Share, connect, and show ‘em what you’re worth (already).
Are you proud of something you've done but been reluctant to share it? Tell us all about it below!
Rachael Ann Mare is a writer who helps motivate creators. She champions embracing your weirdness, being earnest, and bringing back heroes. Her work has appeared in Scholastic Parent & Child and AppleSeeds magazine. For inspiration, download her free e-book at her blog, SpunkyMisfitGirl.com.
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